Saturday, January 21, 2006

Riding the Bus With My Alligator

I only ever submitted a portion of this (the dialogue part, which was rejected), but I like the piece in its entirety, so here it is:

Every day I ride the Metro to work. The Metro is the DC area's subway system, and there is a station one mile from my house. This presents me with two options: (1) walk 20-25 minutes, or (2) ride the bus for five seven minutes. More often than not, I find myself taking the bus because I am lazy. I know many people say that they're lazy, but consider my upbringing: I was abandoned at four months old, and found and raised by a pack of wild couches. So, I am very lazy. When given a healthy alternative to something (anything) I run from it, except that involves running, so I mosey from it. (One exception to this is salad. I like a good salad. But enough about me...)

Where was I? Yes. The bus. I should also mention that I live a block from the bus stop. How sweet is that? I've noticed, though, that our popular culture takes a rather dim view of public transportation. In movies, buses are always portrayed as a cultural melting pot of last resort (by which I mean the contents of the pot are melting, not a pot that is, itself, melting). Whenever a movie or TV show's protagonist rides the bus, it is because something horrible has happened (a car broke down, a wife committed adultery, aliens have replaced the nation's highway system with a series of unanswerable questions, etc). It is always made clear that the hero would really prefer not ride the bus, but circumstances being what they are, must lower themselves to riding mass transit. The hero's fellow passengers are no better, being portrayed as the dregs of society who every day curse the fact that God has not killed them and ended their miserable days on Earth. This usually manifests itself as the following grouping:

- an "urban" youth
- a Hispanic man
- a plague-ridden child and his mother
- an elderly Asian couple
- a hippy college student
- a middle-aged black woman
- a 1920s-era Communist
- an alligator
- the late Shari Lewis and Lambchop
- the concept of crop rotation
- a copy of the CD "Monster Ballads"
- etc.

In addition, Hollywood has mandated that no less than three and no greater than four passengers be deemed "sassy" and helpful (for our purposes the middle-aged black woman, the alligator, and "Monster Ballads"), eager to help out the protagonist with his problems. I find this a bit outlandish. Not because I don't think an alligator can be sassy, but because no one ever talks on my bus. To demonstrate, here are a few scenes of dialogue from the movie "Speed," if the movie had been filmed during my morning commute:

Scene 1: ANNIE, an attractive young woman, has run to catch the bus.

ANNIE: Do you have any change?

BUS DRIVER:

ELDERLY ASIAN WOMAN:

HISPANIC MAN:

ALAN RUCK:

ANNIE: Ew, there's gum on my seat!

ALAN RUCK:

ELDERLY ASIAN WOMAN:

ANNIE: Morning.

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN:

Scene 2: JACK, a police officer, has learned there is a bomb on the bus and has come to warn the passengers.

JACK: Everyone, I'm Jack Traven, LAPD. We have a slight...situation on the bus here.

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN:

BUS DRIVER:

HISPANIC MAN:

Scene 3: The bus driver has been let off, ANNIE is now driving, and she has jumped the bus across a gap in the still-under-construction freeway ramp.

JACK: Are you okay?

ANNIE: I'm okay. I'm alright.

JACK: Is everybody okay?

ELDERLY ASIAN WOMAN:

HISPANIC MAN:

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN:

ALAN RUCK: (pulls cord)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Questions about clowns

This is something I'm been thinking about, and I'm not really sure the best way to arrange it, so I'll just posit a set of questions regarding clowns. By all rights, this probably deserves to be rejected at some future date.

Do clowns resent other members of the circus? They have to spend time and money attending clown college, but it seems like everyone else in the circus ran away from home or was sold to the circus by an orphanage.

Are there clown junior colleges?

Can underachieving clowns obtain clown GEDs?

Thank you.

Chicken Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight

This list came about because of the prevalence (now passed) of commercials featuring standup comedians telling product-relevant jokes. The commercials make standup seem so easy, since the comedians are able to get huge laughs out of such awful jokes. Either the laughter is canned, or the people who were paid to laugh also signed away their souls. Looking at it again, this was rightly rejected. Anyway, I still like the idea, so here is

More Material From That Comedian In the Popeye's Chicken Commercial Who Only Tells Popeye's-Related Jokes

You know what's delicious? Popeye's chicken.

I just broke up with my girlfriend. Then I ate some Popeye's chicken and I felt better.

Have you ever been hungry, and then you eat Popeye's chicken, and you're not hungry anymore?

Popeye's chicken is so good, you'll remark to others on how good it is.

One time I was out with my friend, and he suggested we go get some burgers. I was like, "hell no. I want some Popeye's chicken."

If Popeye's were a state, the state motto would be "Delicious."

Does anyone know a good heart doctor?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Forthcoming Broadway Plays, Both Musical and Nonmusical in Nature

To start us off, this piece was rejected twice. I'm not including all of it here, but keep in mind that it was originally much longer. There was also an introductory paragraph, which I'll also skip. The piece was based on the fact that Broadway can't seem to get enough of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, since the Producers musical starring was a hit and they made a movie out of it, and now Lane and Broderick are in The Odd Couple, also on Broadway. What I wrote was short summaries of upcoming plays and musicals that will be starring Lane and Broderick. Forthwith, the rejected writing (in part):

Two Gentlemen of Verona
Shakespeare must have written his play with these two performers in mind as Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane portray Proteus and Valentine, two friends who must decide which is more important – the women they love, or each other. Shakespeare? More like "Broadwaymagic-speare."

Twelve Angry Men
Some much-needed rewriting turns this dull, dry script into an uproarious slapstick romp as ten of the twelve jurors fall ill and die of food poisoning, leaving the Foreman (Lane) and Juror #8 (Broderick) to reach a verdict on their own while trying to convince the judge (Queen Latifah) that the other jurors are still alive, leading to"Weekend at Bernie's 2"-style hijinks. Words and music by Stephen Sondheim.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
George (Broderick) and Martha (Lane) are a bickering husband and wife who invite a younger couple over for dinner. Hilarity ensues. Picture "The Odd Couple" crossed with "The Birdcage." It's kind of like that. I think.

Our Town
Each performer gives his all as Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick delicately explore life in turn-of-the-century small-town America, and the need for human connections in the face of death's inevitability. Featuring Lane as the Stage Manager, George Gibbs, Mrs. Gibbs, Wally Webb, Mr. Webb, Mrs. Soames, Simon Stimson, Constable Warren and Joe Stoddard; and Broderick as Emily Webb, Mrs. Webb, Dr.Gibbs, Rebecca Gibbs, Howie Newsome, Professor Willard, Joe Crowell Jr., Si Crowell and Sam Craig. Boasts a rousing score by Stephen Sondheim.

The Man Who Came To Dinner
I'm not really sure what this one is about, but it sounds kind of like that movie with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac. I'm sure if we stick Lane and Broderick in it somewhere it will earn a lot of money.

Silent Musical
Man, Mel Brooks sure made a ton of movies. It was either this or "Dracula: Dead and Loving It." Look, it has Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in it. That's all I know.

Hello, and welcome.

Hello.

I set up this site so that I would have a place to put all my writing that got rejected by someplace or another. You will never hear about my day, or something funny that happened to me on the way to work (unless I write something about it which is then rejected), or even about something funny which happened not to me but rather to someone else, which I happened to witness (again, unless I write something on the subject which is then rejected). Instead, consider it the Island of Misfit Letters. Although it's not really the letters that are misfits, rather the ways I have arranged them. So consider it the Island of Misfit Ways In Which I Have Arranged Certain Letters. Most of my writing is of a humorous nature, although apparently some would take issue with that.

As this post implies, this site will see a lot of content.